'Too early to celebrate' on smell from the Dorket Hill landfill site
RESIDENTS had the chance to find out more about the Dorket Head landfill site in Arnold at an event organised by the Environment Agency (EA).
The EA, which monitors the tip, owned and managed by FCC Environment, organised a drop-in session at Pond Hills Lane Community Centre, Arnold, yesterday after complaints from the public about smells from the tip.
The EA received 965 complaints last year. The number of complaints dropped last month to less than 50, compared to around 250 in January and December and around 350 in November, after a temporary cap FCC Environment installed to combat the issues.
But Louise Johnson, environment manager for Leicestershire and Notts, one of seven EA representatives at yesterday's event, said it was too early to celebrate a success.
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She added: "We are trying to assess whether the additional measures are having the benefits we would like or whether the reduction in problems is down to weather conditions.
"We have been assessing odours coming from the site since February by sending officers out there regularly at different times.
"So far we have spent more than 300 man hours on the odour assessment. But so far the evidence is inconclusive and we're not convinced either way."
Michael Bussey, 60, of Dalbeattie Close, Arnold, said: "I'm glad the EA have organised this event. I have problems with smells from the site regularly. Whoever thought putting a landfill site on top of a hill was a good idea I don't know."
His main concern was how harmful gases from the site were to people's health.
But George Cunningham, technical officer for the EA, explained that, although the gases contained hydrogen sulphide, it was far from a level harmful to health. He said: "It gets harmful at about six to ten parts a million but we have detected about six parts per billion, so 1,000 times less."
Brian Gardner and his wife Christine, both 68, of Rolleston Drive, also attended.
Mr Gardner said: "We've noticed it got better recently, so we hope the changes really have made a difference."
The EA is urging people to complain and be as accurate in their description of the smell severity as possible.
Call the free 24-hour incident hotline on 0800 807 060.
For more information, visit www.fccenvironment.co.uk/dorket-head
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